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History 108

Spring Semester 2017

Professor Oscar Cañedo

Guidelines for EBSCO Review Assignment

For this assignment, you are to read a journal article about a topic related to the scope of the entire course, and you are asked to use the EBSCO database from the Grossmont College Learning Resource Center. The link to the LRC databases is provided in the Blackboard course menu. Please choose an article pertaining to any topic that was covered in class, such as slavery, Civil War, US-Mexico War, colonial America, etc. Once you decide on a subject, you must use one of the 6 following journals for your review:

  • Journal of American Studies
  • Journal of American History
  • American Historical Review
  • Journal of the Early Republic
  • American Nineteenth Century History *Ethnohistory When you find a suitable article, please send a copy of your article to my e-mail address, or send it through “Messages for Professor” in Blackboard. The article that you select must be at least 8 pages in length. I will provide further instructions on finding your articles with a “nuts and bolts” video on how to properly use the database. The due date for this report is Friday, May 19 at 11:59 PM.
    Please turn in your paper through Blackboard. Late papers will be accepted for one week only and will be assessed with a full grade deduction. The report is to be 5- 7 pages in length. Please use a title page and works cited page. (title page and works cited page do not count toward page count of your review) You are also encouraged to follow the MLA or Chicago formats to develop this report. Please double-space your review. This review will count as 15% toward your final grade. For your works cited page, this an example of the type of the format you should follow, but you are welcome to use any comparable format of citing your article: “Pedlar in Divinity: George Whitefield and the Great Awakening,” by Frank Lambert, Journal of American History; Dec. 1990, Vol. 77, Issue 3, pp. 812-837. In terms of the content of the report, I am looking for two main points of discussion. First, you should devote the first half of the report to a summary of the main points that the author is trying to convey to the reader. To help you to address

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this issue, consider some of these questions: What type of article is this? Is the author presenting an original feature, or is he/she conducting a book review? If this is a book review, what book (or books) is being reviewed? What is the author’s purpose for writing this article? What is the author’s academic or professional background?

As for the second point of discussion, this is where you provide your opinion or perceptions of the article. In other words, what did you think about it? What were the strengths or weaknesses of the article? How did the article relate to the class? You are definitely encouraged to write in first person singular (I feel that…, I think..) as you provide your opinions. As a general rule of thumb, your EBSCO review should be about 60% summary and 40% commentary. Thus a 5-page review with about 3 & 1⁄2 pages summary and 1 & 1⁄2 pages commentary is an ideal proportion.

As you develop your essay, please avoid both very short paragraphs and excessively long paragraphs, especially those that run longer than one page. Try to keep your longest paragraphs at no more than approximately 7/8 of a page. Do not use your first paragraph to immediately begin a summary of your article. Use your first paragraph to introduce the scope of your arguments, and provide an overview of your objectives of your essay. And at the conclusion of your essay, use your last paragraph to express your final thoughts and observations on the topic.

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